Google Maps finally arrives on the Apple Watch and is also updated for CarPlay. Here's all the news for users
After more than three years of absence, Google Maps is back on the Apple Watch and, for the first time, it's also 100% integrated on the Apple CarPlay platform. Google had abandoned the Apple Watch platform in May 2017, overnight, stating that it was little used by users and promising that sooner or later it would reintroduce it.
Everything has changed since then, both in terms of Apple Watch (in 2017 the top of the range was the Series 3) and CarPlay (which only a few months ago allowed the integration of third-party navigators in the main dashboard). Google has taken note of the changes and has chosen to bring its navigation app back to Apple's platforms: in a post on its blog The Keyword, Big G in fact states that Maps will return to the Apple Watch in the coming weeks while it is already available for download on the CarPlay platform, as long as it is updated to at least version 13.4. Google Maps was already usable on Apple CarPlay, but it wasn't possible to use it via the dashboard: it could only be used as a standalone, full-screen app.
Google Maps on Apple Watch
Naturally on Apple Watch, as on smartwatches running Google Wear OS, Maps' functionality isn't complete: such a small screen doesn't allow to show a lot of information to the user. Google Maps on the Apple Watch, therefore, can be used to get information about the estimated arrival time of a set route, to receive directions in real time, to set favorite destinations, such as Home or Work. For everything else, however, it will be necessary to use a smartphone with the Google Maps app: the information and settings used on the Apple smart watch will be automatically synchronized with those of the smartphone app.
Google Maps on Apple CarPlay
Well different is the matter with regard to Apple CarPlay: in this case we have at our disposal the large touch screen of the car and a more robust and articulated operating system. Starting from iOS 13.4, released in March by Apple, it is finally possible to install third-party navigation applications and use them in split screen in the main interface: on the left will appear the map and on the right the indications on turns and route variations. Maps, then, can now work on Apple CarPlay in the same way as Apple's Maps navigation app.